About the Event
The Women in Public Life Programme was launched on Friday 30 October. With twenty-two participants, the intensive programme is designed to assist participants by increasing their competencies, encouraging women to develop strategies and building networks in order to enhance their influence in public sector organisations. Through this programme, participants will learn how to leverage their positions to reshape outcomes and enhance their personal impact.
One of the core aims of Politics Plus is to address the imbalance of women at a senior level in Northern Ireland’s Civil Service and across public, advisory and specialist bodies, and strengthen the role of women in political and public life through the programmes we deliver.
The Women in Public Life programme will cover many sessions including; crisis management, speech delivery, handling the media, public finance framework and networking.
Trevor Reaney, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Assembly, opened the event with introductory words on the importance of having women in political and public life.
Jill Minne, Director at Belfast City Council, spoke of how women in leadership positions are essential to strengthening politics and democracy. Jill called for real, committed and targeted action to ensure that gender equality initiatives were introduced. In Jill’s role as Director, she has overseen an increase in awareness of the importance to have a gender lens for policies. Rather than evaluating leadership against masculine standards, Jill encourages the Women in Public Life participants to; be authentic, have courage, step outside their comfort zone and network, in order to fulfil their leadership potential.
Finally Eileen Mullan, Principal Consultant of Strictly Boardroom, a leading NI Governance Consultancy, and Chair of Age NI, discussed her own personal experiences of being in boardrooms as well as the experiences of her clients. Eileen is committed to changing the picture to reflect a more representative and inclusive society. She called for tangible support to encourage women to take up roles on boards and indeed Chairs of boards at a local, regional and national level.
The enthusiastic participants, facilitators and guest speakers closed the positive event by pledging their support for gender equality, some pledges included; “to show more courage in challenging situations”; “to create programmes which provide opportunities for women to thrive”; “to believe in myself enough to take brave decisions and stand by them with integrity – and never step on another female on the way”; “to support mentor and recognise potential in other women”.
The first session will be “Strategic Thinking” on Friday 6 November.